(Neheh) Nehy is depicted, in what has been argued by Alan R. Schulman to be the sole surviving pictorial representation of him, as a guinea fowl with a solar-disk-and-uraeus headdress, being worshiped alongside Ptah. In PT utterance 301, the deceased king petitions four of the primeval Gods of Hermopolis (usually thought of as an ogdoad), as well as Atum, Shu and Tefnut, to allow him, since he has made the proper offerings to them, to permit him to cross over to Nehy at the horizon, Nehy being called “Lord of the Year … the Ready Fighter, Horus who is over the stars of the sky … who brings Re to life every day; he refashions the King and brings the King to life every day.” In CT spell 307/BD spell 153B the deceased affirms “I am a guinea fowl; I am Re who came forth out of the Nun in this my name of Khepri,” and later in the version from the Coffin Texts, “I am invoked in the Ennead [i.e. the Egyptian pantheon in general, but especially the group of nine major deities worshiped at Heliopolis] in this my name of Nehy,” this time with the divine determiner at the end. The spell, which is perhaps more informative with respect to Nehy in the Coffin Texts version, nevertheless makes it difficult, because of its syncretic character, to ascertain which elements of its content apply specifically to Nehy, but one suggestive passage states, “I am the Soul who created the Nun, who made my seat in the realm of the dead; my nest will not be seen nor my egg broken, for I am the Lord of those who are on high, and I have made my nest in the limits of the sky.” Schulman cites as well two Ptolemaic-era texts from Dendera which refer to “the sky which bears Nehy” and to “seeing Nehy in the sky.” The epithet ‘Lord of the Year’ or ‘Lord of Years’ likely derives from the similarity of his name to n-h-h, ‘eternity’ (see Heh), which is often written with the guinea fowl sign whose phonetic value is n-h; indeed, the texts from Dendera cited by Schulman spell the God’s name N-h-h rather than N-h-y as in the passages from the Pyramid Texts and the Book of the Dead, and these would be read simply as personifications of eternity if the content did not seem to offer other possibilities. A possible pun on n-h-h and n-h-y occurs in the aforementioned CT spell 307, where the deceased, identifying with Nehy, states, “I am the eldest of the primeval ones [the Hermopolitan Ogdoad?], the soul of them of the Temple of Eternity [n-h-h].” The word n-h-y, it should also be noted, means to pray or wish for, or a prayer. An allusion to this may be seen in BD spell 153B: “I entreat as a bull, I lament as the Ennead, in this my name of Nehy,” i.e., the one-who-prays. As to what celestial phenomenon Nehy is identified with, the morning star, the evening star, and the star Sirius have all been suggested.

Schulman, Alan R. 1964. “The God NHJ.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 23, no. 4: 275-279.

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